Be Good Johnny Weir Recap of Episode 6: Johnny is judge, jury and executioner on ABC's Skating with the Stars
Be Good Johnny Weir airs Mondays 10/9 central on Logo. The show follows two time Olympian and three time US national figure skating champion Johnny Weir as he tries to find a career outside of skating, while training for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Episode 6 was very interesting as a portion of the show centered around Johnny's agent Tara Modlin. You see, Tara is the founder of Fireworks Sports & Entertainment and currently works out of her bathroom. On top of that, she has to share the bathroom with boyfriend Josh so space is an issue when you're trying to take your business to the next level. Tara started Fireworks about 10 years ago and she was struggling to find her niche as an agent/manager in the skating world. At one point, she was also agent to US National
champions Jeremy Abbott and Rachael Flatt (along with Johnny), but she could only really put her energies into Johnny who took all of her energies anyway so Jeremy and Rachael went bye bye. As she told Josh in the bathroom, she wants to be a combination of Jerry McGuire and Ari from Entourage.
So part of Episode 6 was about Tara trying to find a bigger office space for her and her staff of four at Fireworks Sports & Entertainment. They found it! It's not huge but it does have three large windows AND she has a small office for meetings. Tara seems genuinely excited and we feel happy for her. It's a cutthroat business this world of agents and managers in the skating world. She clawed her way in, and is surviving and even thriving. Johnny must never leave her. (photo above, Johnny and Tara)
Speaking of...where WAS Johnny while Tara was in the midst of expanding her empire in NYC? Johnny was in Los Angeles for a television stint as a judge on ABC's Skating with the Stars. This show aired in December 2010 so if we're not careful, we may be reliving his 2006 Olympics experience next Monday when new episodes air. In the first live show (where Dick Button and choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson were co-judges), Johnny is terrible -- all gooey complimentary and it's very hard to watch. This is not him! We love Johnny because he is moody, he's funny, he's off the cuff, he's obnoxious, BUT he's also kind, gentle, generous, there's a humanity about him -- you can't have millions of fans without the humanity. So that Johnny didn't show up as the judge -- we don't know who showed up, but he did get a wakeup call when his BFF Nicole told him he was terrible.
Why is Nicole in LA? Well, it turns out that Johnny is incapable of traveling alone without a strong woman by his side. His mother Patti and Aunt Diane were always with him in the early days but now they must rest in Pennsylvania. When Tara broke the news that she could not accompany him to LA as she was busy thinking about the skating spectacular and figuring out how to move out of her bathroom, Johnny begged Nicole, who works as a server at a restaurant, to take time off and be with him. Nicole watched the first show in the hotel room and looked very grim. As good BFFs do, she told him the truth while on a shopping spree in LA.
Johnny decided she was right and then sought advice from none other than Kathy Griffin -- comedian and a
brilliant live performer. Kathy told him that people absolutely want to hear what he has to say. They are tuning in to Skating with the Stars for his critiques. Johnny is a double whammy -- he has genuine expertise and also a little devil may care attitude. She wants him to be uncensored because that's how he got to be in this position. Johnny listens carefully and takes this advice way too far. In the second live taping of Skating with the Stars, Johnny turns into a mean old lady. This too is hard to watch.
Back in New York, Tara watches Johnny thrash the contestants on television and immediately calls him on the phone. Taping has ended and Johnny is in a car back to the hotel. Tara tells him that he went supernova on beloved contestants, such as Vince Neil from Motley Crue, and perhaps he forgot that some of these celebrities have never skated in their lives. Johnny listens and realizes that for the next live taping, he must just be himself. In the first taping, he was trying to be liked and didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. In the second taping, he blurted out whatever was in his head. In future tapings, he will be somewhere in between.
Now we're all back in NYC because there is a break in taping. Johnny meets up with a former crush Jake and they go bullriding and catch up. Could Jake be the one? Jake is very handsome. I wonder what happened between them since we now know that Johnny married Viktor Voronov in December 2011. Jake is not from NYC so perhaps distance kept the relationship from ever becoming more than crushes.
I'm looking forward to Episodes 7 and 8 on Monday to see if we get closer to the year 2012. In case you've forgotten, Johnny is currently in Finland for his first international competition since the 2010 Olympics. The men's short program begins Friday afternoon. We'll all be looking for uploads on YouTube.